Nurturing creativity with art, animals, and science fiction

Tag: world religions

Eid-al-Adha Mubarak, hope-faith-and-joy.

Hope faith and joy

This evening begins the holy festival of Eid-al-Adha for our Muslim friends. From what I’ve been able to learn, an appropriate greeting is “May the divine blessings of Allah bring you hope, faith, and joy on Eid al-Adha and forever.”

This design image shows a beautiful repeating design in blues and greens, and the words "Eid-al-Adha Mubarak" to wish you greater hope, faith, and joy.

I’m trying to stay current with holiday greetings for major religions throughout this year, instead of only thinking about holidays in December! This festival changes dates, based on a lunar calendar, but if I got this right, it runs from this evening through Wednesday evening. We all could benefit from greater hope, faith, and joy, in the spirit of this festival!

I remain convinced that we must seek stronger bonds of understanding across cultural differences, so that we may build bridges (PLEASE, not walls!) between ourselves and our neighbors. Eid Mubarak, my friends.

IMAGE CREDIT: many thanks to Religion World, for this beautiful design.

For Religious Freedom

Day One: Grateful for Religious Freedom

On many calendars, this is the first day of the week, so I figure this is a good place to start my Seven Days of Gratitude project for the week of the US Thanksgiving holiday. Throughout my life, gratitude and thankfulness have repeatedly come up as important themes. I welcome this holiday each year as an opportunity to explore them once again.

My daughter recently started a “Gratitude Journal,” a daily recording of at least one thing each day for which she is thankful. Thinking about her project has given me my theme. As a practicing Christian, it is my belief that I have myriad blessings each day to celebrate with joy and thanksgiving to my God.

Massive among of those blessings, for me, it the United States Bill of Rights guarantee that I may practice my religious faith freely, without fear of persecution. It should be a source of great joy to everyone in the USA that this not only is guaranteed to me, but to everyone in my country, whatever tradition of faith–or however much absence of religious expression–they cherish.

Ironically, I think this is the single most important reason why so many people in the United States still say they believe in God (89%, according to a 2016 Gallup Poll. Compare that to most other industrialized nations, many of which have long histories of state religions). It seems to me that if you are free to believe in the God of your innermost spiritual being, you are more able to find reasons to believe in any God at all.

Or not. And that won’t get you thrown in prison either, thank . . . the Bill of Rights.

Our strength, yet again, lies in our diversity. That’s why I shudder when I hear people say “America is a Christian nation!” Many of the founders may indeed have been some variety of Christian (pretty broadly defined, though: consider how many were Deists, or how Thomas Jefferson felt free to create his own “good parts” version of the New Testament), but asserting any specific religion as “the” American religion would have been “fighting words” to them.

And rightly so. I believe that all of us in the United States should be deeply thankful for our guarantee of religious freedomand I believe that we must remember and defend it, any time we see the rights of any religious community under attack. Bad as that is, though, I think it’s even worse when the values of any particular religion are imposed upon others, especially by people acting in the name of some level of government. Any advocacy for either abuse should be “fighting words” for all true Americans.

IMAGES: The “Seven Days of Gratitude” design is my own creation, for well or ill. If for some reason You’d like to use it, please feel free to do so, but I request attribution and a link back to this post. The illustrated quote from Sir Patrick Stewart is courtesy of We F**king Love Atheism. Many thanks!

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